Should I Invest in a Pizza Oven? The Pros and Cons You Need to Know — This Will Sway You on Whether They're Worth It!

If you're considering a pizza oven for your backyard, there's a few things you need to know first. We asked experts if this outdoor gadget is truly worth the investment

A pizza oven in the backyard
(Image credit: Ooni Pizza Ovens)

Everyone loves a fully-equipped backyard, replete with seating, perhaps a kitchen, or at least a grill. And the idea of cooking fresh, hot food, especially a wood-fired pizza right in your backyard is irresistible. But is this gadget a good investment in the long term? How easy or hard is it to maintain it?

To answer these burning questions, quit literally, we asked experts what they think. Here are the pros and cons of including a pizza oven in your outdoor kitchen.

Is a Pizza Oven Worth It?

An outdoor grill

(Image credit: Justin Miers Photography. Studio credit Bockus Payne)

Largely, experts suggest that the investment is worth it if you like to entertain often or are a family that enjoys their time outside, cooking and grilling food. And, no doubt, a pizza oven does come with ongoing costs.

'I personally love pizza ovens, especially the Ooni table top pizza ovens — plus these come with a lot of cool cover options, adding to the aesthetic of the outdoors,' says Julia Mack, founder of Julia Mack Design. 'Pizza ovens encourage you to use your outdoors to the fullest. But, keep in mind that these require proper ventilation, and keeping them protected from bad weather will extend their usefulness.'

Apart from cooking pizzas, some larger outdoor bbq models can also cook a variety of other foods like breads, roast meats, and even sweet pies and tarts.

What should you keep in mind before purchasing a pizza oven?

A pizza oven in the outdoors

(Image credit: Gozney)

'It’s important to keep four key things in mind before purchasing a pizza oven to ensure you’re buying a product that will perform well and will last for years to come,' says Tom Gozney, founder of Gozney. He lists the points to ponder before choosing the best outdoor kitchen appliance for your backyard.

1. Insulation: This is key as you want a pizza oven that can reach and retain temperatures of up to 500° C. Thick insulation and therefore good heat retention enables you to cook pizza after pizza without a drop in quality.

2. Quality materials: When investing in a pizza oven you want something that is built to last. Look for ovens that are built using professional-grade materials and an oven that has a thick stone floor (more than 10mm thick) to ensure that the oven doesn’t experience wear and tear with every use.

3. Rolling flame: You want an oven that emits an intense, golden flame, just like traditional wood-fired ovens. No strip burners or blue flames in sight. Rolling and reaching across the roof of the oven, a golden flame will provide authentic top-down cooking whilst investing heat into the insulation and into the oven floor to ensure an even bake, crispy crusts, and perfectly cooked toppings.

4. Ease of use: You want to look for an oven that’s not complicated to use and accessible to cooks of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner, just starting your outdoor cooking journey, or a more experienced pizzaiolo, an easy-to-use oven helps make the live-fire experience more enjoyable. Features like a built-in thermometer, silicone SafeTouch jacket, interchangeable burner systems, and a wide mouth will all improve your experience and help home cooks make restaurant-worthy pizza with ease.

Also, if you have a family with kids, then you need to keep certain safety measures in mind. The electric oven can get very hot as these generally don't have the same insulation as a brick oven. Whether you buy a gas, electric, or woodfired pizza oven, there will be ongoing costs for heating, be it electricity, gas, or wood.

How should you maintain a pizza oven?

An outdoor space with wet kitchen and a grill

(Image credit: Lauren Taylor. Studio credit LH Designs)

Wondering how to plan the perfect outdoor kitchen? Consider how low or high maintenance your gadgets are.

'Most pizza ovens will need general upkeep to ensure they are kept at the optimal working level,' says Francesca Fay of Ooni Pizza Ovens. 'Protection is key. If you’re using and storing your outdoor oven outside, protect it with a cover. Each Ooni oven has its own rigorously tested cover, specifically designed to keep your oven safe from the elements. Sometimes, storing indoors is best. While your oven will be fine outside most of the time, if you know a big storm is coming or temperatures drop, you should consider bringing your oven inside for the duration. That will keep it from taking on too much moisture or getting battered by heavy hail.'

So, is a pizza oven worth it?

Largely, how serious you are about making your pizza will probably inform your decision-making. For a full-fledged outdoor dining experience, a specialized oven like this makes a lot of sense, although do keep in mind that many indoor ovens these days have a pizza mode.

'Prices range significantly from roughly the $190 mark to the $1200s depending on the size, quality, and type you are looking for,' says Tom. 'That’s why it’s important to keep those four key elements [mentioned before] in mind when purchasing a pizza oven so you can make sure you buy an oven that suits your price range but doesn’t compromise on quality and is also built to last.'

3 Pizza Ovens Worth Considering

Design Editor

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is the Design Editor at Livingetc. She is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.